Kashmir Assembly Polls, Election Commission To Decide After Yatra

SRINAGAR: In a first major indication that the elections for the state assembly would possibly be held later this year, the Election Commission of India has said it will take a call after the Amarath Yatra was over.

This is almost the confirmation of what the Kashmir political class was saying for all these months that the elections to the state assembly would not be immediately held. Kashmir political class was seeking assembly and the Lok Sabha polls to be held simultaneously. However, the Election Commission of India held the Lok Sabha polls and delayed the assembly polls apparently on security grounds.

After the Central Government took oath of office under the leadership of Narendra Modi, now the Election Commission is hinting towards holding the assembly polls.

Media reports suggested that the Commission had “unanimously decided” that holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir “shall be considered later in this year”. Now it is being said that it will be considered after the yatra is over. The yearly Hindu pilgrimage starts on July 2, and concludes on August 15. The Commission will continue monitoring the security situation. So far, more than 100 militants were killed in Kashmir.

Though the political class in the state has been insisting that the state should be permitted to have its elected government, not everybody is on the same page between Srinagar and Delhi.

Jammu and Kashmir plunged into governor’s rule in 2018 summer when the BJP withdrew support to the PDP. Now the state is under President’s Rule which is a remote rule by Delhi. In the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, NC got three Kashmir seats as BJP retained the two Jammu seats and a Ladakh seat. But the assembly election is unlikely to offer the same outcome.

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